Where Are My Students?! Why Your Online Classes Are Not Attracting Traffic
Written by Stephanie
September 26, 2022
Anyone can tell you it’s difficult to run an online business. Sheesh! Trying to get students for your online courses can be even more tricky. So, don’t be too hard on yourself for struggling to attract students to your online classes. It isn’t easy.
That doesn’t mean you want it to remain that way, of course. You want your online business to succeed. You’re just not sure what you might be doing wrong. Think of it as what you can do to get it right. Just that change in mindset can be a good start!
Read on to find out some of the reasons why your online classes may not be attracting traffic. Discover how to better optimize your business potential.
Maybe Your Online Presence Is ‘Hiding’ Away?
It may be tragically simple why you are not getting enough students: no one can find you! An online business requires an online presence, which can come in many different forms:
- A business website
- A personal blog
- Other social media platforms, such as Instagram
- Professional networking platforms, such as LinkedIn
- A YouTube channel
- Any combination of the above
The above is all very well (and takes a lot of time and effort from you) but do people know they exist? That is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. This type of ‘organic search’ continues to be critically important in getting your name and business out there.
SEO has multiple benefits beyond helping people find your online business via search engine requests. As Forbes states: “With SEO, you can track changes in rankings, conversions and website traffic.” It also costs nothing, allowing you to have search engines crawl your online channels 24/7 without big outlays of cash.
Maybe Your Marketing Is Lacking?
Besides SEO, your online marketing strategy may not be working in your favor.
Marketing factors that could be working against your classes may include:
- Your course/class is too expensive for your demographic
- Your descriptions are not precise or exciting enough
- Potential students don’t know what your classes can actually do for them
Since we know that budget is often a leading concern for online business owners, there is a simple, inexpensive marketing tool you should consider: a lead magnet. It’s a snazzy marketing term for giving something for free in order to try and attract business. It also sounds better than calling it a ‘freebie!’
You need to make your ‘free offer’ work for you. Choose what you offer wisely and in accordance with your classes and course fundamentals. It can be in the form of a free first class or free first hour, and so forth. You need to make it appealing and directly appropriate to your classes.
And don’t fall into the trap of making false promises or making people feel ‘duped’ with clickbait! Google’s algorithms don’t like them anyway, and neither do the likes of Facebook and YouTube.
Maybe Students Feel Isolated?
Know this: online classes can be lonely and even alienating for some students.
Students may be experiencing what a Canadian thought piece on online learning called “the mirage of community”. Don’t promise students a ‘wonderful’ community of fellow learners’ unless you can really give them that.
There are ways of improving that sense of isolation that many online students experience, though. A 2021 study by Kotera, Chircop, Hutchinson et al surveyed how online higher education students with disabilities suffered with loneliness. The study concluded with recommendations by the students, which included incorporating group activities as a part of an online curriculum and having genuine online social groups for students and their teacher.
Remember to make sure that whatever efforts you introduce to combat your students’ isolation be (1) authentic, (2) manageable and (3) appropriate for your classes.
Maybe Students Are Not Engaged?
Keeping interest levels up is tough to achieve for any course. Attention spans will flag and, let’s face it, some content is just not all that interesting! Disengaged students will soon desist from your classes, however. Worse still, the word might get around online that your classes are dull or not engaging.
The statistics prove the point about online engagement very starkly. Consider this April 2020 survey of 3,089 college and university students at all grade levels in North America: it found that 68 percent of those surveyed found their online instruction more boring that being in class. Furthermore, 78 percent of students referred to their online class experience as “unengaging”. Yikes.
One thing to always remember about engagement with your classes is that humans are hard-wired to respond to storytelling. The process of teaching itself needs to engage and somehow tell a story. Professor Aaron Barth found in his studies that online students don’t want to be taught at, they wish to be taught with. Keep that in mind when rethinking your course content.
A Trustworthy Platform, A Helping Hand
Like anything in life, nothing beats a helping hand! Why do it all by yourself when you can do so with an online teaching platform? Such a platform affords you the ability to promote and manage your classes in one secure spot. You may very well need a platform like Yip.
Becoming a ‘Yiper’ means having access to so much, including:
- State-of-the-art live video to conduct sessions with your students.
- Automated scheduling, cancellation policies and invoicing to your students.
- Instant payment as soon as you complete a course; and
- An expanded network of potential students – anywhere, anytime!
You see, it’s not so difficult after all! There are many paths to securing more students for your classes. Most importantly, you don’t need to do it all alone. How good is knowing that, right?